News Around the County...
Tracey Gold Bennett | 11/16/2011, 10:56 p.m.
Foreclosure Center in Prince George's Provides Lifeline for Residents
There is good news for those trying to avoid foreclosure. The Federal National Mortgage Association or Fannie Mae has opened the Capital Area Mortgage Help Center in Greenbelt, Md. to help homeowners better understand their options when faced with foreclosure. Participating homeowners will receive free information, education and one-on-one counseling regarding foreclosure risks and benefits.
"[In Prince George's County,] we lead the state in the number of foreclosures. In my district, we have one of the highest foreclosure rates in the county," said Maryland State Delegate Aisha Braveboy (Dist-25) broker/consultant for the Blue Chip Brokerage Group, a commercial and residential real estate service in Mitchellville.
County Executive Rushern L. Baker joined Mike Williams, president and chief executive officer of Fannie Mae, and Marcia Griffin, president and founder of HomeFree-USA, for a special open house to launch the center Nov. 9.
Financial expert Wesley Watkis, managing partner of the W and W Group LLC, thinks the foreclosure assistance center is a good step.
" I embrace help and assistance for those that need it. People should be educated about the foreclosure process and options that are available," Watkis said. "To my understanding this assistance program does that and when people go to the center I think they should bring all of their mortgage documents for review. This will put them in a position to have access to all of the options available to them."
Here's how the process works: Washington area homeowners who are in default or may be at risk of foreclosure will have the opportunity to meet directly with experienced housing advisors who speak English and Spanish to discuss their mortgage situation. These face-to-face meetings will help borrowers find out how to prevent a foreclosure and give them the tools needed.
Watkis said, however, homeownership in some cases may not be for everyone.
"Renting is not a bad thing. In some cases it makes sense to rent," said Watkis. "For example, if you have a job where you travel quite a bit it might make more sense to rent. For those who are renting and looking to make the transition to homeownership you should pay your bills on time, check your credit report and look for a house that is affordable or 10-20 percent below the amount the lender qualifies you for."
There are 12 centers like the Greenbelt center around the country.
For more information about Prince George's County mortgage and foreclosure help, visit www.washingtoninformer.com.
More Health Care Options for Children Coming to the County
Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III; Prince George's County Council Chair Ingrid Turner; Dr. Kurt Newman, chief executive officer of Children's National Medical Center; and Ken Glover, chief executive officer for Dimensions Healthcare System, recently held a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing.
The MOU established a collaborative agreement which will provide primary pediatric services in the County through the Children's National Mobile Health Van.
The intent of the MOU is to provide the infrastructure for the collaboration and support the county, Children's National Medical Center and Dimensions Healthcare System's shared interests in providing enhanced primary care pediatric services and other services.
Once implemented, the health van will provide mobile primary care health services at least three times monthly at pre-determined locations in targeted Prince George's County disadvantaged communities.
Children's National Medical Center and the county will work together to inform residents, in advance, of the availability of mobile health services and its capabilities.
In addition, Dimensions will participate in and support the project by appointing appropriate staff to assist Children's National Medical Center in developing an effective implementation strategy for this innovative mobile primary care initiative.